External drives

I'm pretty new to PC audio. I'm using a mac mini as server and have begun to import my cds. I'm getting the impression that drives are not created equal. I've been using a Samsung. Should I wait until I get a 'better' drive before ripping any more music with the theory that playback will be better with another/better drive? I'm thinking that I'll buy a Plextor for $85.00. Thanks for your comments.
The drive mechanism shouldn't have any effect on the quality of the playback. If the Samsung drive is working well I wouldn't spend any money on a different brand.

The more important consideration is whether you have a second drive to back up the primary one you use for playback. All hard drives fail, always, and always unexpectedly. They're very complex mechanical devices that operate at high speed within very fine tolerances. It isn't a question of whether they will fail, just when it will happen.

So if you don't have one already you definitely need another drive of the same or larger capacity as your primary drive and make regular backups. After years of helping manage technology at a large company I'm absolutely paranoid about backups. I have two backups of all my music and store one of them in a fireproof, waterproof box inside a locked safe.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant but I've had to hold the hand and try to be sympathetic with way too many people who lost all their data when a drive failed.
Sfar, I of course agree with your excellent comments. But I think that what she is referring to is the optical drive that is used for ripping, not to the hard drive that is used for storage and playback.

If so, IMO the answer depends on what ripping software is being used. If the software can guarantee bit-perfect ripping, I don't think there is any means by which the drive used for ripping can make a difference with respect to subsequent playback of the ripped file from a hard drive.

Although it would be a completely different story if the CD were being listened to while being directly played back in real-time from an optical drive, either in a computer or in a CD player.

The OP may find this thread to be of interest.

IMO. Some other opinions will certainly differ.

-- Al
Thanks Sfar and Almarg. When I began ripping several months ago, I was using iTunes and I did have a back up drive. One day I mistakenly deleted everything that I had so far imported. A lot of music. I thought that I'd be OK because of the backup. Well, the drive was a lemon and I lost everything. The silver lining to all
of this is that I'm now using XLD (wasn't aware of it until now) and I have a new external backup. XLD sure is slow but I know the reward will be worth the time. Now back to ripping with the Samsung. Thanks again.
On that backup thing. After my first external drive died I went a little backup crazy. I use a 2 TB Western Digital MyBook II external drive. It has two internal 1TB hard drives. Using the software that came with the drive, the device is programed for RAID 1. To my understanding each, the internal drives is mirrored, one drive goes the other is, with any luck is ready to go. I also have a 2nd external drive configured the same as the WD drive is and I use "Carbon Copy Clone" software to made a clone backup. Yeah, I know it's overkill but loading 2000+ CD's is a pain.
Vegasears, not even close to being over kill. You don't need to use a raid 1 for a music setup when you only use 1tb disks. The reason is that 1tb is pretty small for a disk, tb2 or greater is about right. Also, using raid 1, it provides a means to keep running while 1 drive fails. If you were running a business, then you need to use raid 1 or more like a raid 10 or raid 5 setup. In your case, if you would use both drives as a raid 0 which would stripe the data over both drives and give you 2tb of disk space, then all you would need is another 2 or 3tb external disk for a backup using time machine, which backs up your system every hour and consolidates your backups. I have restored my system a couple time throughout the years and have helped friends and it is so easy using time finder. You do a couple clicks, walk away, and in a couple hours, everything is restored.
I have 3 external FireWire disks, 2-2tb and 1-3tb. I use 2 of them for the music and 1 for backup. I then use the 3tb disk to backup my system once a month and then I take this drive and store it in a fire proof safe. So if something happens to the house or you get your computer stolen, I still have all my critical data and music in my safe.
Also, when using externL disks on a Mac, make sure you encrypt your disks before using them with a long password. My password is over 25 characters using numbers and special characters. The reason I do this is if you get your stuff stolen, nobody can hook up the drive and see your data.
BTW, I work with large storage systems for databases so I user all the different raid setups in my daily job.
I have 2 Raid10 setups. Both have 8 3tb drives, 4 drives would have to fail (2 in each half) at the same time to loose data. Even if half the system had a catastrophic failure my data would be in tact. You do cut stage capacity in half but IMHO it is well worth it. The setup cost about the same as a good cartridge or a set of cables. I store both movies and audio. Will be adding another shortly as Blue Rays take lots of space.
Rbstehno, Thanks for the education. I am not a computer/tech person so your comments are appreciated. I do have a Safe and after reading your post, I've moved my backup music drive into it, along with the my data backup drives. The Safe has a 1.5 hour fire rating!